Justify Wins Sloppy Kentucky Derby, Baffert Takes Fifth Title
06 May, 2018, 14:30 | Author: Marlene Myers
Don't ever bet on the horse without a 2-year-old foundation many proclaim.
Baffert felt anything but champion-like this week at Churchill Downs in spite of holding the favorite's reins with Justify.
Justify gives Baffert, who also trained 2015 Triple Crown victor American Pharoah, his fifth Kentucky Derby victory.
"I'm so proud of my whole team, and WinStar [Farm] and China Horse Club to trust me with this horse, but I just kept a great horse". "If you have LeBron, you'd better win a championship with him".
It was the second Derby victory for Smith, the New Mexico native whose early career included four successful years at what was then Canterbury Downs in Shakopee from 1985 to '88. He is so above average, he's got unbelievable talent and he's got a mind to go with it. "I just knew he was capable of this".
"This guy" was the first horse to win the Derby after not having raced as a 2-year-old since 1882, the well-documented "Apollo curse" that appeared primed to be beaten sooner than later, and was.
He did it off only three prep races. His first race was on February 18, just 79 short days ago.
Only 12 horses in history have swept the treble, Baffert-trained American Pharoah being the most recent in 2015. It snapped a tie and left the 65-year-old trainer trailing only Ben Jones with six.
Good Magic paid $9.20 to place and $6.60 to show while Audible paid $5.80 to show. Skeptics argued that he did it against a smaller field, by dictating the pace and without encountering traffic. Just keep Justify on the flank of pace-setter Promises Fulfilled (49-1) until one of them dropped. "He was one of the only horses to make a good, late run".
"When he got away clean, I thought we had a chance", Baffert said after the race. "I did my part". "I was leaning back on him probably more than I normally would".
An exhausted Promises Fulfilled stopped entering the far turn, which was where Bolt d'Oro (Medaglia d'Oro) took a crack at Justify. "My main concern was getting him out of the gate", he said.
He fretted when wife Jill pulled out a handsome green dress for Saturday's races. "This track really had me anxious".
"If anybody was watching my horses run here, I was stinking the place up", he smiled, making a joke that his wife must've wondered if he'd forgotten to pack deodorant. The first quarter they went in 22.2, and the half mile was 45.7.
Smith's career took off after leaving Minnesota in 1989.
"Justify looked like a big monster", said Chad Brown, who trains Good Magic. Instilled Regard finished fourth, another 1 3/4 lengths behind.
The next race in the Triple Crown series is May 19 - the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. "That's the best Kentucky Derby winning performance that I've brought up here".
Justfiy ran like a colt primed to extend the streak.
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